This bleeping watch

It beeped, and beeped again. I was cruising down a dirt road on a sunny afternoon, feeling pretty good about everything. A quick glance at the beeping watch reassured me that I was moving along at my usual pace, so I pulled my sleeve back over it. For a minute I thought about checking my heart rate on the watch but decided against it because I was sure I’d mess up by pressing the wrong button and accidentally lose all of the data it was collecting.

mast 12.4.16

As you can tell with this crystal-clear photo I am great with technology — my $35 phone that takes craptastic pics and does almost nothing else is just the right device for me.

I’m new to this data crunching on runs and workouts, I never thought I’d give in and get these devices. For years I’d been happy tracking my estimated times and distances by scribbling on a paper calendar — more for self motivation and satisfaction than to compile a training war plan or to achieve anything quantifiable beyond finishing an occasional half-marathon.

Learning to use the damned equipment has been a workout in itself. What do I press to make it recognize the heart rate monitor and start to track it? How do I see the results at the end of my workout? I press buttons and it beeps.. and beeps … and gives me no information. And I can’t even tell you how often I hook it to my computer only to have the data refuse to upload. Does this whine make me sound old? Ha.

When Mike saw the watch on my arm last week he had a good chuckle. Yes, it’s huge. I don’t even wear watches. When I go to the gym I really should balance the weight of the watch on my left wrist with an extra 2 pounds or so on the right end of my barbell. And putting the cold plastic heart rate monitor on my bare skin?? It’s barely tolerable.

So its purpose is what? I guess to quench my desire for novelty — I had all the running shoes and outfits one woman could possibly need but no fancy watch — but also to measure trail running and potentially track heart rate for furthering my rather ad hoc distance training that has somehow held up over the past 8 months. It would be helpful with xc skiing and mountain biking too, I rationalized..

In the end, I had a great run, probably 8 miles or so. Of course I can only guess because the watch never started tracking my run this afternoon even though I was sure I’d pressed all of the bleeping buttons to locate the satellites, tell it to pay attention to the heart rate monitor and start the timer. Great. So I have no data, no idea how to compare my stats to my last run.

The disappointment lasted a few minutes, but then I realized it was a great run on a beautiful day.. and I would have done it even if I never bought the stupid watch.



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